Brauhaus Brouhaha: High Levels of Lead at Beer Hall Site

2012-07-23 12.52.22Timothy Davis Construction work at Paulaner Brauhaus.

High levels of lead have been found in dust that shot up from the incoming Paulaner Brauhaus and blanketed an upstairs apartment, displacing a family of seven and causing the city to issue a stop work order.

The dust-up occurred last Wednesday at 265-267 Bowery, where the brewhouse and beer hall is being built on the ground floor. On June 25, ceiling work sent a plume of dust through the floorboards of a second-floor loft, forcing its residents to seek shelter elsewhere while testing for toxic materials was conducted.

Today, a health department representative said the levels of lead found in parts of the apartment were six times what the Environmental Protection Agency finds acceptable. According to the testing company’s report (posted below), the highest concentrations were found in the living room, where Mr. Davis said the children’s books and toys are kept.

Blood work taken from at least one of the five children is still out at the lab.

Meanwhile, Mr. Davis said his landlord, Craig Murray, has withdrawn an offer to pay for the family’s hotel stays. Attempts to contact Mr. Murray’s lawyers were unsuccessful.

A representative of the Paulaner Brauhaus project, Rudolf Tauscher, told the Local earlier this week that the group offered the family $2,000 for cleaning services and $3,000 for ten nights in a hotel. But Mr. Davis said that as of today, a formal offer had not yet been extended and that regardless, the amount was too low. He said that after five nights, his family’s hotel bill already totaled around $2,400.

Asked about the cause of the incident, Mr. Tauscher referred The Local to a play-by-play account posted to Facebook by Morali Architects, the firm handling the renovation. The post explains that, while the ceiling was being removed “in a controlled, clean way” to allow for the installation of dust barriers and sound-proofing, a wall fracture was discovered. “While all of this was happening,” reads the account, “dust from the project unfortunately made its way into the apartment directly above the site.”

The post goes on to note that the full stop work order issued on July 26 was partially lifted on July 31, allowing the crew to “continue to stabilize and monitor the structure.” Department of Buildings records show that workers will be permitted to install five joists at the ceiling and walls. A partial stop work order still exists at the site.

Lab Report